The Unexplained: Robert the Doll

There is something unnerving about dolls.  Their life-like yet fake appearance unsettles many who look upon them, making them wonder how children could play with them.  It doesn’t take much for the imagination to see them taking on a life of their own.  Supposedly, there are such objects in the world.  Some claim there are possessed dolls that terrorize their owners.  One of the most famous of these is Robert the doll, the inspiration for the Chucky series.

Currently residing in the East Martello Museum, Robert the doll has a sordid history.  It was originally made by the Steiff Company in Germany and came into the possession of an artist named Robert Eugene Otto when he was a boy.  Soon Gene became attached to the doll, even dressing it in his old sailor outfit.

The alleged paranormal activity began when Gene awoke in the middle of the night to find Robert the doll sitting on the end of his bed.  The poor boy awoke screaming, waking his mother.  When she came into his room, she found her son curled up in the corner of the room with furniture moved and he was begging his mother to help him.

Gene’s mother Anne came to dislike having the doll in the house after that.  Apparently when the family had guests there were sounds of footsteps in the attic along with malevolent laughter.  Over the years Eugene tried to lock Robert in the attic many times, and each time the doll was found in the same spot, sitting by the window, no matter where the toy was placed.

In 1974 Gene passed away and the doll came into the possession of a little girl who found Robert in the attic of the house.  Similar to Gene, the ten-year-old girl was terrorized in the middle of the night by Robert and it wasn’t long before the doll was donated, where it ultimately ended up in its current location.

The doll is supposedly capable of not only moving on its own but changing facial expressions as well.  Supposedly attempts to photograph Robert is spotty.  Many claim to have equipment failure when attempting to take his picture.  It is said that those who wish to get a photo of Robert need to ask his permission first.

Is there any validity to this story?  That’s for you to decide.  I’m open to the idea of something like this being possible.  Does that mean the legend of Robert the doll is completely accurate?  Not necessarily.  If your worldview allows for the possibility of spirits, then possessed toys are possible too.  Outside of conjecture it is impossible to comment on validity of Robert’s legend.  Unlike many other paranormal encounters, there are not many recorded witness accounts outside of Gene and his mother.  That is if we only take into account the historical aspect and not the claims from museum visitors, of which there are numerous paranormal encounters with Robert.  These should not just be thrown to the side without any consideration either.  The real question is what do you think?  Do you believe dolls can become possessed?  Is there any validity to the story of Robert the doll?  Let me know in the comments!

Reference:

https://www.ghostsandgravestones.com/key-west/robert-the-doll

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-story-behind-the-worlds-most-haunted-doll

https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/robert-doll

3 thoughts on “The Unexplained: Robert the Doll

Add yours

  1. I played with Barbie dolls when I was a little girl. Nothing creepy about them. Now that I’m old (60’s) I had started a collection of new, porcelain dolls with the idea of placing them under the Christmas tree, as decorations. At some point, I cannot think nor imagine when, a growing uneasiness presented itself to me. I developed an eerie dislike for any dolls, any “toy” that had eyes. I donated my dolls to a local thrift store. Don’t think they were possessed, I just developed an uneasiness for dolls. Really weird!

    Oh, and yes, I do believe paranormal influences can manifest through anything.

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting! I agree Barbie dolls aren’t particularly creepy, but for me baby dolls tend to give off an eerie vibe for me. We have a sitting room in our basement and my wife has her doll collection from her childhood down there, and they creep me out. 😉

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I agree spiritual forces can manifest though inanimate objects.

      Liked by 1 person

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